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Memorial Day Revisited

I wanted to reprint a post of mine from last Memorial Day because the sentiment it professes still holds true now more than ever.

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As we gather today to honor those who fought and continue to fight for our freedoms, let us examine what it means to "Support the Troops". That slogan has been around in some form or another for a long time. It was once considered a promise, an oath taken by every citizen of this great nation. Now, however, it has seemed to have lost most of it's meaning. During WWII, when our fighting men were in Europe and elsewhere, those left behind were willing to give up certain things so that our troops would not go wanting. Every citizen, both young and old, did their part. Because they knew that the sacrifices they made were for a good reason.

Today's war is very different.

The President likes to talk of the sacrifices made by the military in this war. Yet no such concessions are asked of the citizenry. Why is that? Because the true cost of this war has always been kept from the public, only rarely slipping out in snippets here and there. We are not permitted to witness the flag-draped coffins returning to Dover, now numbering some 2,466. The media is blamed for not showing more of the "good news". Those who question the war in Iraq are chastised for not supporting the troops.

And for the most part, many Americans don't want to hear about Iraq. They don't want to hear about the latest IED blast. They avert their eyes or tune out when news of the latest death is brought up. Many do not wish to be a part of this war and simply wish it would go away.

But it is not going away. So long as the public chooses to ignore the war, it's burden is unduly placed on the shoulders of the military and their families. Their sacrifices are far greater then any we could hope to make and we should be ashamed of ourselves that we are not willing to make even the most modest of sacrifices when compared to those of the men and women who have died in this war. I would certainly be willing to pay higher taxes if it meant that a soldier's life was saved because he was wearing adequate protective armor.

Many in this country practice "magnetic patriotism". They think if they just slap a bumper sticker on the back of their car that is enough. And a magnetic sticker at that. Seems we won't even sacrifice the finish on our cars to "Support the Troops". What does that say about us as a nation?

So on this Memorial Day, I say we make the ultimate sacrifice for our fighting men and women.

Get rid of the damn magnets.

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Since writing the above proses, nearly a thousand more soldiers have died and thousands more have been wounded. And for the most part the magnets are gone. Not because we no longer support the troops but because we have chosen to show that support in a different way. Opposition to the war is at an all time high. We have finally begun to awaken to the true costs, both in blood and treasure. This awakening lead us to elect a Democratic Congress to bring about a change of course from where our nation was headed.

After this week, many are feeling disenfranchised with the Democrats and wonder if their trust has been misplaced. I have watched with much trepidation the back and worth between those who say this is merely a set back in the long, hard slog to affect real change and those who are angered by the Democrats submission.

Yet even in this hour of discontent, there remains one thing that has not changed: Our resolve to see an end to this conflict. For as Creature rightly notes, what it comes down to is a matter of life and death. Far too many of America's sons and daughters have been lost to this war. Scenes such as this one have become far too common place for us not to continue to fight for our men and women in uniform. As I see it, no greater tribute to their sacrifice could ever be offered than ensuring their heroism and service will never again be hijacked by the arrogance of one man.

More Memorial Day stories here, here, and here.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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